• What's Been Happening?
  • 100 Debates on Environment, Health and Climate
  • Transition Sooke Reaches Out
  • September 24 Global Day of Action
  • Official Community Plan Status
  • Last Stand: Old Growth Forest and the Fairy Creek Ecosystem
  • International Speaker Series - Race to Zero
  • Proposed Development - John Phillips Park
  • Help! TS Seeking a Note-Taker
  • Upcoming Events

Your September Newsletter

It's hard to believe we're rounding the corner on what's been a long, dry summer locally, but one that's been fraught with record-breaking weather patterns and unprecedented catastrophe globally. It's time to bring in the harvest, prepare for the coming winter, count our blessings, and consider how best to continue working towards a community that's safe and resilient - for an unknown future. 

What's Been Happening?

West Coast Climate Action Network (WE-CAN)
The purpose of the West Coast Climate Action Network (WE-CAN) is to serve, support, amplify and promote the climate action work of its member organizations.  So far, 172 climate action organizations based in BC have joined. Transition Sooke is a founding member. The official launch will be on Tuesday October 5, 2021.  WE-CAN is building a new website, and developing two database/inventories, one for all of BC’s climate action groups; so that we can all understand what each group is doing, and the other for BC’s many Indigenous climate action initiatives. Our new Municipal and Rural Engagement Team is developing plans to support climate-action-committed candidates in the October, 2022 Municipal Elections. Plans are also underway to hold a Transportation Solutions Forum in October, 2021.  For more information, contact Lily.

Water Group
Transition Sooke’s Water Group continues to seek new members. Contact Lynn for more information. Topics of discussion will include greywater management and water conservation. For more information, visit the new page on Transition Sooke’s website: Water Group.

Pesticide Education Group - Sooke Ban on Cosmetic Pesticides

In 2017 a group of Sooke Transition members met to discuss lobbying to have a “Ban on Cosmetic Pesticides” bylaw created in Sooke. “The Pesticide Education” group was created.

In 2018 expecting the Province to have legislated a pesticide use restriction law the groups lobbying efforts were shelved. Recently, it has come to light that a municipal bylaw is required as it appears the Province is not moving forward with any legislation. The committee has re-activated and will be presenting to Sooke Council in September in hopes of having a bylaw in place before next spring.

Please go to this link if you are interested in becoming part of the Pesticide Education committee please email.

Transition Sooke Supports EMCS ECO Academy

At a recent meeting, Transition Sooke Active Members unanimously supported the EMCS ECO Academy with a grant of $1,000 for the 2021-22 school year. The grant provides two $415 student bursaries and additional funding for materials up to $170. The bursaries are for students who have financial barriers to participating.

“We are excited for the ECO Academy at EMCS as it launches its program for grades 9 and 10,” said Lily Mah-Sen, Board Member of Transition Sooke. “Clearly, Transition Sooke is aligned with this important new program of nature and community-based learning, combining curriculum from Sciences, Food Studies, Community Connections, and Sustainability courses. Transition Sooke hopes to explore possible partnerships with the ECO Academy as well as volunteer involvement in activities such as beach clean-ups, removal of invasive species, and more.”

Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke Federal All Candidates Debate on Environment, Health and Climate - SEPTEMBER 8, 7-9 PM

If you are looking for more information on how each of the parties and candidates plan to address Environment, Health and Climate, register to learn more at an all parties debate on September 8 from 7 to 9 pm.

For more information email. To register.  

  Transition Sooke Reaches Out

We will have information tables at two upcoming events in the Sooke community during September. Come and see us (from a distance!).

Celebrate Sooke  takes place in John Phillips Memorial Park on Saturday September 18 from 9 am to 5 pm. A good day to come and find out what Transition Sooke is up to, get some vegetables at the farm market, and discuss what this park should really be used for. 

Sooke Apple Festival 2021 will happen at the Sunriver Community Orchard on Sunday September 26. A great day to celebrate all things apple.

We hope to see you at one of these events!

The Global Climate Strike on September 24, in conjunction with Fridays for Future, will see actions around the globe and likely student protesters will participate in this day of solidarity for a sustainable future. Look for actions close to home to participate in or take sustainable action that day in your home or neighbourhood.

Official Community Plan (OCP) Status

Look for a chance to review and provide feedback on the latest draft of the District of Sooke’s OCP which is available here.
For more information, sign up for the District of Sooke's Picture Sooke.

Each Saturday for the past 23 weeks members of Transition Sooke and the general public have been rallying in Sooke to express their concerns for the Fairy Creek ecosystem and calling for a moratorium on old growth logging. 

State Violence at Fairy Creek

RCMP action at Fairy Creek led to demonstrations across the province on August 23 including a Sooke contingent who attended the Sooke RCMP detachment to protest escalating police violence at the Fairy Creek blockade, and actions eroding forest defenders' civil rights. National Observer article here. YouTube video here.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, on the movement to protect Ancient Forests — “You can’t simply parcel this off as an Indigenous cultural rights issue. You can’t parcel it off as an economic issue. You must remain focused on the fact that old-growth forests in British Columbia are at the point of extinction. We all have a responsibility to do whatever we can to protect them.”

ARNO KOPECKY, Globe and Mail, September 2, 2021 
"Still, it’s true that the blockaders’ tactics are also more extreme than they were in 1993, when arrests were more of a symbolic ploy for attention than a physical attempt to halt logging. This reveals a third major shift since Clayoquot: The environmental stakes are immeasurably higher. Today, B.C.’s wildfires are producing more carbon dioxide than Alberta’s oil sands, and ancient coastal rainforests are valued as much for the carbon they store as the biodiversity they support. It’s not just that we’re logging the last ancient trees; it’s that we’re logging the last trees in North America that don’t burn."

International Speaker Series - Race to Zero: The UN Climate Champions

From the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA): Race to Zero is a global initiative to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions and investors for stronger and more ambitious climate action. Gonzalo and Nigel are UN High-Level Champions for Climate Action, responsible for mobilizing net zero initiatives across the world. There are a number of events that may be of interest to our sustainable readership. Register here

New group forms to Save John Phillips Park

The plan for development on ~2 acres of John Phillips Park has raised some concerns. A new group (not part of TSA) called Sooke On Fire, has formed to champion a "No" vote by September 15. Persons opposed to the development are required to fill in and physically deliver to the District of Sooke, an Elector Response Form by the deadline of September 15.  For more information email.

Your Opinion Matters!
Your letters and articles on climate change, development, and community resilience in the Sooke News Mirror and other publications keep important issues in the public eye. If you want to join one of Transition Sooke's Action Groups please contact us.  Thank you!

Transition Sooke members continue to sit on District of Sooke council committees. Watchdog reports can be found on the web page.

Upcoming Events

Regular TS Monthly Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month at 7pm (via Zoom). Next meeting October 6.  All welcome. Contact Alan for the login information. Previous minutes available here.

September 14, 6:30pm Zero Waste Sooke returns to face-to-face meetings, in the Sooke library.
September 18, 9 am - 5 pm Celebrate Sooke.  We'll be there!
September 26, 10 am - 3 pm Sooke Apple Fest.  Come to our table!

For the meantime,Transition Sooke groups are continuing to meet via videoconferencing. For the Climate Change Emergency Teams, contact the individuals listed at the top of the Climate Emergency page. For other groups, please send a message to the general email.
H E L P! 
Transition Sooke is desperately in need of a note-taker for our regular monthly meetings. These are not verbatim notes, just short summaries, key decisions and actions. Volunteer guaranteed to receive wild praise from all attendees! Please contact Alan if interested and thank you for considering this key position.

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